In a landmark verdict, the Ikeja High Court has granted Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, the widow of the late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, and her two sons, Afamefuna and Nwachukwu, control over their father’s estate as director and shareholder of Ojukwu Transport Limited (OTL).
Beginning in 2012, Bianca, alongside her sons, who were minors at the time, pursued a legal battle against OTL and seven other defendants, including family members and a property agent. The dispute arose over attempts made by the defendants to take control of the family’s residence in Ikoyi, Lagos, and various other OTL properties in Lagos, which were previously managed by the late Biafran warlord.
The defendants included OTL, Prof Joseph Ojukwu, Engr. Emmanuel Ojukwu, Lotanna Putalora Ojukwu, Dr. Patrick Ike Ojukwu, Arch. Edward Ojukwu, Lota Akajiora Ojukwu, and property agent Massey Udegbe.
According to the claimants, the defendants tried to seize their home and other properties under their father’s management in August 2011, during his illness and subsequent hospitalization in London.
On June 24 of this year, after a decade-long process, Justice A. M. Lawal ruled in favor of the claimants, asserting that they are entitled to their father’s estate and his entitlements as a deceased director and shareholder of OTL, by virtue of being his biological children.
Justice Lawal emphasized that the court, as a court of equity, would not allow the dispossession of the claimants. He further noted that the defendants who remained in control of other properties could not now expel the late director’s children from properties managed by their father.
The judge also dismissed a counterclaim by the defendants for being incompetent. As part of the ruling, the judge affirmed the claimants’ right to several properties and restrained the defendants from interfering with these properties.